Organic seems to be everywhere you turn these days and now, I’m happy to report that organic is starting to hit in the sake world. A wonderful new organic sake is coming to market that I really enjoyed and I hope you’ll get the chance to taste!
That is a Junmai sake called “Akira” and it’s got a really cool story! It all starts with the owner of the farm that makes the sake, Mr. Akira Imura. Imura-san is Chairman of an organic farming company called Kanazawa Daichi located in Kanazawa Japan. He is incredibly enthusiastic about organic farming and he has a true connection to the spirit of the land. Their farm produces organic barley, wheat, soybeans and of course, rice!
The triple Organic rice (Japan, US and EU organic certified) used to make Akira is called “mitsuhikari” rice and it’s interesting to note that this is not usually a sake making rice! The farmers at Kanazawa Daichi told me they feel this sake best represents their brand and their focus on organic products! Their next idea was to bring this great sake to New York City!
Sake Sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton of Sake Discoveries worked with the folks at Kanazawa Daichi to arrange for some great events:
Akira Kanazawa Daichi Night at Kitano Hotel Hakubai Restaurant
The Elegant Kitano Hotel was the setting for the first Akira event. About 100 especially invited guests dined on the wonderful food at Hakubai restaurant and enjoyed Akira Sake! Chizuko was pouring the sake three ways… chilled, room temperature and gently warmed. The guests that I spoke to were all enthusiastic about Akira and many people told me that they have never enjoyed warm sake so much. This made me very happy!
Akira Sake Tasting at Sakaya
Our Friends Rick and Hiroko at Sakaya also hosted the organic farmers from Kanazawa Daichi. This event allowed all of Sakaya’s sake fans to taste the delicious organic sake, too! Here, too the folks loved Akira – only problem is it’s not for sale in the USA…yet!!!
Kanazawa Daichi Night at Sakagura
Last but not least, Sakagura hosted a wonderful evening of Akira Sake tasting – and eating, too! The farmers from kanazawa Daichi brought over some of their organic sake which was made into the most delicious organic onigiri rice balls. The rice was served along side of Akira served at 3 temperatures. Everyone, including myself, flipped out over the fatastic flavor of the organic rice. It’s not every day you can sample the rice your sake was made from – what a treat! Another magical night at Sakagura!!
All told, this was a wonderful start to the organic sake revolution in New York! I think the organic farmers from Japan were thrilled to spread the joy of the organic farm to the big city – and I for was was delighted they did! Again, “Akira” is not yet for sale in the U.S. but hopefully soon! If these events were any indication, it will be a big success! Kanazawa Kanpai!